Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2007 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Property values, parks, and crime: a hedonic analysis in Baltimore, MD
Troy, Austin
Co-Authors: Austin Troy and Morgan Grove
Abstract: While urban parks are generally considered to be a positive amenity, past research suggests that some parks are perceived as a neighborhood liability. Using hedonic analysis of property data in Baltimore, MD, we attempted to determine whether crime rate mediates how parks are valued by the housing market. Transacted price was regressed against park proximity, area-weighted robbery rates for the Census block groups encompassing the parks, and an interaction term, adjusting for a number other variables. Our results indicate that park proximity is positively valued by the housing market where neighborhood robbery rates are below a certain threshold rate but negatively valued where above that threshold. Two versions of the model were run. In the version where the distance to park variable was untransformed that threshold value occurred at a robbery index of 593 (593% of the national average; the average rate for Baltimore is 781% of the national average). In the model where park distance was log transformed the threshold occurred at an index value of 672. The further the crime index value is from the threshold value for a particular property, the steeper the relationship is between park proximity and home value.